The Thirteenth Tale

“The Thirteenth Tale” was a lucky grab as a blind date with a book for my 2018 Reading Challenge. I found this at a local bookstore in the area, with a caption that fully encompassed what the book contained. Thanks to the reading challenge, I have another book on my list to recommend to fellow readers, and non-readers alike.

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“The Thirteenth Tale” was a beautifully written story that captured the beauty of both being a reader, and a writer. It is a story meant for all members of the book community alike, after all, we each have our own part to play. It’s refreshing to see a book that takes on a love of reading and books, and incorporates it into the story.

 

Diane Setterfield has a wonderful writing style. The words just seem to flow between the pages, with a story that is sure to captivate and draw the reader in immediately. Not only can they relate to the characters in the book, but they may even find elements of themselves within the pages. I can’t express enough how much this story speaks to people who love to read, myself included.

Along with this, there is an element of mystery within the story. As the writer in the story tells her tale, the reader, in the book and real life, is trying to put the puzzle pieces together. When the final elements are revealed, the classic “ah-ha” moment is present with a brilliantly disguised slight plot twist. When the end is reached, the reader is left to wonder at what happened, and the possibilities for the characters in the story left untold.

“The Thirteenth Tale” was a refreshing story to come across, and one that I would not normally pick up. I only wish the story was longer, because the writing, and what was in the story was so beautiful. For anybody looking for a book, with the potential to reignite parts of your inner reader, or just as a refreshing take on a love of reading, this is a book for you.

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Startup

“Startup” is the perfect book if a reader is looking for a laugh out loud worthy, entertaining, pick-me-up sort of read. With a present day setting, all social media involvement included, it’s hard to resist putting down such a delightful read.

Doree Shafrir’s talent is on display with a style of writing that is sure to win all readers over. She brings characters to life, not forgetting a single ridiculous moment in their lives. She includes a little bit of everything in the book from humor to blackmail to marriage problems to the power of Twitter to how times have changed with technology. Doree Shafrir’s writing is nothing short of spectacular.

The story takes place in a New York turned Silicon Valley type with all the startup companies catering to developing another apps that people might use, or to help improve their life. Accompanying this are the journalists who are out there to write about all the happenings. Things are looking pretty standard for journalists until one of them happens to find what they think will be a big story. As this journalist gets deeper into the story, blackmail comes to play, hook ups are discovered in the office environment, and of course one person tries not to crack under pressure.

The writing brings the story and characters to life, leaving the reader no choice but to literally laugh out loud at some of the events in the book. Some of the events may even leave the reader in disbelief at what the characters are doing. This is quality entertainment at its finest.

Anybody who picks up “Startup” won’t be disappointed, and it is certain to brighten up their mood.

1984

“1984” is a thought-provoking book that will have the reader fully immersed in the story. This is where they will stay, in awe and wonder, until that final page is turned. The ending is no exception to the power that this book holds.

George Orwell reflects the potential of power and control of a governing agency well through his writing. He created a world that is unlike any other, and, contains relevance to life today. The lesson that can be applied is different for every reader.

The world contained in “1984” appears to be simplistic on the outside. However, as the reader gets further into the story they will discover the truth. There is more to the story than what is lying on the surface. This seems especially true as different parts of the governing agency are revealed to the reader. Each may appear to have one purpose, but there a lot of double meanings contained within the writing.

“1984” is a book about power. The power is contained within the story for the reader to discover in this new world. Power is also on display as it becomes apparent that this is a book that will stay with the reader. I personally think this is what makes some of the best books truly amazing, and this is no exception. While the ending contains the potential for mixed emotions, “1984” is without exception a powerful book I think more people should read.

The Circle

“The Circle” is an incredible book, that will hit the reader right to the core. It is amazing, powerful, and incredibly relevant to life in today’s world. It is a story that revolves around technology, and how it impacts life, and our interactions with people.

This is a book with a story that is all about technology, big companies and their impact on society. It’s an idea that is powerful, scary, and thought intriguing. In this case, it involves a company called the Circle. While the idea behind the company started out logical, semi-simple and helpful, as it grew it became something else altogether.

The main character Mae, is quite the individual. After getting hired by the Circle she feels incredibly lucky for the opportunity to work for the company, even in a beginner level position. After all, employees move up quickly in the system so she probably won’t be there long. Working at The Circle was a bit of an adjustment for Mae, the expectations were a little different than her previous job. After the adjustment period, and lessons learned, she came to realize what life at The Circle meant and started to excel. She found her place and everything felt right.

As the reader gets to know Mae during the story, and watch her grow as an employee they may notice conflicts she has with herself. At first the conflict is obvious, she is used to her previous way of life and is confused and taken aback by what her new company expects of her. She thinks her behavior is acceptable, The Circle doesn’t. They bring it up with her and the reader can feel the confusion she has about why this is a problem and how she can fix it. As her character grows the reader can see a change in her viewpoint. She thinks this is all ok and how it should be and is unable to understand why others in her life don’t seem to share her viewpoint.

The ideas The Circle had as the company grew could be considered rather disturbing, depending on the reader’s views. The main goal, they want to know everything, literally everything, taking mystery and guessing away from life. But, that’s not enough, they want the ability to track everything as well, bringing the concept full circle. In this world, secrets and a private life are something of the past. What the Circle sets out to do will leave the reader in disbelief, and possibly even appalled at the company’s behavior.

If you take the time to read this book, I ask if you could think about what it would be like to live in this sort of world. Can you imagine the impact that it would have on your life? Would your life be completely changed? How would you feel about a company that did the sort of things the Circle did? These are just some of the things that came to my mind as I read the book. It’s the type of book that gets a reader to think, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Last Christmas in Paris

“Last Christmas in Paris” was a delightfully simple yet heart-warming read. This was just the sort of book to read this time of year to get me in the spirit of love, hope and a little holiday cheer. There are only a few characters in the story, and that’s all it needs to keep the story alive and prospering for the reader.

One of the best aspects of the book, is how it reflects the time period the story takes place in. It’s amazing and beautiful how the author reflected so much through the letters. There is so much emotion felt within the writing, containing the power to draw the reader in further. Hazel Gaynor has the power to make the reader wonder why we don’t do things like that as much anymore.

“Last Christmas in Paris” is all about beauty within the story. The setting of the book is beautiful. There is love mixed with tragedy, reminiscing on the favorite moments of life, and snow in Paris. It’s too perfect to not read during the holidays. I only hope that you enjoy the book as much as I did.

Middlesex

“Middlesex” is a beautifully written story following the life and history of Calliope Stephanides, showcasing what makes this character different. It’s no wonder this book is on Oprah’s Book Club list. It’s strikingly different, smoothly written and catches the reader with its captivating story line. This is a book with the power to make the reader think twice on judging a person by their appearances.

This is the type of story that attracts the reader, and has the power to change the way they think. To the reader it may feel like this is a story about a person looking at their past and family history for explanation; while also looking for signs of how they become their current self. It’s almost a journey of self-discovery, harsh truths included. The reader may even be left to wonder how they might feel if they read an actual classic (if they haven’t already).

The conflict in “Middlesex” is mostly centralized around the main character. There is the conflict they have with themselves and with their parents. It appears that Calliope doesn’t blame her parents for their actions, or the confusion as she grew up. However, this all seemed to play a major role in the story and character development, especially the conflict the Calliope has with herself. It makes one think, are moments from the past little pieces that show the truth of who we really are?

When the back cover of this book is closed it’s hard to describe the feeling it will give the reader. “Middlesex” has the potential to make the reader feel smarter, more sophisticated or more cultured. There is something mysterious and beautiful awaiting the reader in the pages.

If I had a list of books under the title of must read or instant recommendation this would be included. Even though it’s hard to put into words how this book made me feel, this is one I think more people should read. It’s a book that as much as it’s about the story, it’s also about how it makes the reader feel.

Behold the Dreamers

“Behold the Dreamers” is an inspirational, heart-warming read. It’s a story that follows the lives of two immigrants and their son during their time in America. They came to America seeking a better life for themselves and finding their true home in the process. No matter the struggle, they kept their relationship together and would compromise to help out each other.

This book is beautifully written. And it’s no wonder why it’s on Oprah’s book club picks list. It highlights life in America, and how it’s different for everybody who lives here. In this case it’s a pair of immigrants who work hard for what they have, not taking anything for granted.

One thing this book might highlight for the reader is the power of money. Just because somebody has money, and fancy things, doesn’t mean they’re happy. (But I think we can agree money can buy books, and book are happiness.) Some of the characters featured in the story were well off, but once the shell was shattered, the reader was able to see what was hiding. Behind the shell is a family that doesn’t always get along, and an unhappy marriage in disarray. While they put on a show to everybody else, the truth was something different altogether.

This book may serve as a reminder to the reader to not take things for granted and that hard work and dedication pays off. It may also show the reader the power of home and what it means to each person. All they need to do is read, and enjoy the story that awaits them behind a beautiful cover.

The Child

“The Child” is a well-written mystery crime novel that follows three women who are all associated with a mysterious skeleton that shows up at a building site when its uncovered. The one women is a journalist who catches a mention of it in the paper and takes it upon herself to make sure the story is heard, and of course to help find answers. Another, is a women who still suffers from the mysterious disappearance of her baby over 20 years later. Finally, there is a women who is a writer. How she fits into the story is a mystery to the reader until the crime is solved.

In true mystery fashion, Fiona Barton does an excellent job keeping the reader guessing at who the true suspect is. The clues are slowly revealed as the reader is able to get to know the characters. Even as clues are revealed, the reader may get the feeling that there are puzzle pieces missing. This helps make the story gripping, leading the reader eager to keep turning the page.

Through the talent of Fiona Barton the reader can get a sense of the tenacity behind the journalist, her desire to have the answers, and help out those who have been suffering for a number of years. This takes the journalist to unexpected places and down a trip that goes back a number of years, with unexpected findings.

Anybody who reads this book won’t be left disappointed with the story. This is the sort of book with a little spooky in the mystery that makes it perfect for Halloween, or just whenever the mood may strike the reader. The writing, it’s style, everything about the book is great.

Since We Fell

“Since We Fell” is a slow-burner of a thriller that will have the reader ever eager to keep the page turning until the very end. When I say slow-burner, I mean slow-burner. When a reader first picks up this book, they may question what genre they’re actually reading. As they stick with the story, they will not be let down by the talent of Dennis Lehane.

In the beginning, the reader is introduced to Rachel Childs, once a news reporter, now a shut-in. The reader is given a look at her job, relationships and how she ended up in her current position. It seems like a normal book, leaving the reader to wonder when does it become a thriller, or where is the mystery.

Dennis Lehane knows how to keep the reader waiting, and pondering  about the moment the story will transform. Some parts of the story may have the reader questioning their purpose, or why it was included. In the end, it all contributes to the story, and the characters development. As the reader gets to know the characters. they may find themselves beaming at their accomplishments, or shaking their head for the not so great moments. Dennis Lehane has a way of keeping the characters relatable and fully alive to the reader.

Another great part of Dennis Lehane’s writing is how he includes the twists in the story. They come in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times. He makes sure the reader isn’t able to guess how, or where the story is going. In a way it adds to the mystery, giving it a little oomph.

This is the sort of book that will blow the reader away. From the beginning they will be hooked, waiting, wondering for the story to reveal itself. From there the suspense only builds, further gripping the reader’s attention until the very last page. The reader will not be disappointed by the work of Dennis Lehane.

The Lying Game

“The Lying Game” is a book that contains more than just a simple mystery for the reader. It’s a book that shows the power of friendship, the powerful bond behind it, the strength and protection a mother may feel, and the power of grief and love.

“The Lying Game” is a story of four women, who are reunited once again with a simple text sent by one of them in need. Once these women are together again, in some ways it’s as though nothing has changed, while at the same time everything has. Old memories are brought back to life, while differences over time make themselves known.

Ruth Ware’s talent is on display as she tells the story through the eyes of Isa. She keeps the reader hanging on, eager in anticipation, waiting to find out exactly what happened to bring everybody together, and the big event in the past. As the story goes on, the reader will get flashbacks from old memories. These memories, triggered by everyday objects or places feel so real, and natural, sort of like they would in real life.

One of the best parts of “The Lying Game” is how it’s such a thrilling read. Ruth Ware will leave the reader in anticipation, trying to fit pieces of the puzzle together, coming up short realizing there is still some information missing. In other parts of the story the reader will feel the urgency of the characters as the past comes back to haunt them. This is the sort of mystery read for anybody looking for something different in this genre.